low bitrates at 1080p

Discussion in 'SJ8 Series' started by Manolis, Mar 3, 2019.

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  1. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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    Hello,

    I am a new owner of sjcam sj8 pro and would like to raise a concern on the bitrate of recording.
    I had also previous modes of sjcams and I would like to support this company.

    I have seen that the bitrate of recording on 1080p are very low and result in low quality videos.
    at 1080p 60fps it is 18 and at 1080p 30fps it is 12.2.
    These measures are with the video quality set to fine( update: and with h.264 codec used).
    Is there any plan to fix this issue??

    thank you
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  2. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    I also think that the bitrates for 1080p are way too low.
    But you have to distinguish between H.264 (aka AVC) and H.265 (aka HEVC).
    H.265 is known to have about the same quality of H.264 at half the bitrate.
    The SJ8 Pro supports H.265.
    Which codec did you use?
     
  3. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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  4. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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    Hello Michael,

    I am recording at h.264 mode.
    The bitrates of recording at this mode are very low for all resolutions except the 4k 60fps at which sj8 pro can reach 100Mbps which is very good.

    My consern is because i know that sj8 pro has ambarella very powerfull processor that could easily reach higher bitrates and this ofcourse would level up this action cam.

    Thanks a lot for the link with the mod sw, but I would like to have a reply from someone from the official site on this aspect. It would be great if next official firmware upgrade could resolve this issue!
     
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  5. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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  6. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    No, I havn't tested it because im mainly use the actioncam as a replacement for carrying an ultrawideangle lens along.
    I think in the respective thread the people using this mod shared their experiences.
    As far as I understud switching back to an official FW should be easy...
     
  7. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    These are the bitrates for 1080p I measured using FW 1.30

    H.265 @ 24fps [KBit/s]
    ======================
    Fine: 8.201
    Standard: 6.750
    Eco: 5.414

    H.264 @ 24 fps [KBit/s]
    =======================
    Fine: 12.400
    Standard: 10.200
    Eco: 8.000

    The resulting samples can be found here:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gUSsNnVoogYAuaTproA3DRQD2RLRzjb1
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  8. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    It is really bad that the bitrate is so small in 1080p (also in the modded FW, as there only 1080p@30fps has a higher bitrate).
    Zooming is not a good idea in 4K but in 1080p it is quiet good (you have the whole range from 12MP to 2MP).
    Lets say up to 3x is vey good and the dynamic range is not bad for the given sensor size.
    Having a higher 1080p bitrate could result in nice timelapses using the digital zoom.

    Here a sample of a timelapse using the flat profile and graded in post:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=13vQNL7204VjOPl17Q4Z3x8s3Bs1smfQi
    (Here how it looks in Youtube after the upload: )

    Here the ungraded original:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=157SpOILmGRPQ-AAmllMfbnuiwpqYz-qh
     
  9. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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    I have read that bitrate for v1.2.8 (official) and the mod firmware mod1 1.2.7(modified) are the the following

    _______________________________________V.1.2.8____ MOD1 V1.2.7

    4K 60FPS - Videop Quality set to ECONOMY..... 51 kBits .......63 kBits
    4K 60FPS - Video Quality set to NORMAL.......... 64 kBits....... 82 kBits
    4K 60 FPS - Video Quality set to FINE ..............105 kBits .....131 kBits

    1080 60FPS - Videop Quality set to ECONOMY 20 kBits .......20.6 kBits
    1080 60FPS - Video Quality set to NORMAL..... 20 kBits....... 20.6 kBits
    1080 60 FPS - Video Quality set to FINE ...........20 kBits ........41 kBits

    So @Michael Dittrich are you sure that at 60fps with 1080p the bitrate isn't increased?
    Have you tried the mod firm? were you hapy with it?

    It is good idea to always check with quality FINE
     
  10. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    I have not checked all the firmware versions, bitrates, codecs and resolutions, as this is too much work.
    I mainly use 24fps when shooting video.
    And I was only interested in 1080p as there the bitrate is insufficient.

    And the versions I tested were
    MOD4 (based on 1.3.0) with even better JPEG quality and center-weighted metering
    MOD4.1 (based on 1.3.0) with adjusted AE metering modes order

    I initially thought all bitrates were changed. But they canged only very few.
    I don't know why they did'n simply double all the 1080p bitrates.

    I think the 4K bitrates are fine. Raising them would result in the requirement of buying faster and more expensive SD cards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  11. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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    Yes, totally agree with that!

    By the way is there any official comment on the bitrate quality issue, @Troy could you could comment on that?
     
  12. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    The MOD 4.1 f/w brings the SJ8 Pro to where it should have been in the first place. As released, it's tuned for 4K, which is nice. But 4K heats the camera up something fierce, requires high cost SD's, and fills even 128 Gb SD's in a hurry. At the cost of slightly less resolution, 1080 HD can shoot all day to a generic, low cost SD, and the camera doesn't get hot enough to shut down or cook batteries.

    The problem with the SJ8 Pro is the bandwidth is held to 18 Mb/s, which is pathetically low for 1080 HD. Pixelation, processing artifacts... they're all there in far too much abundance. IMNSHO 1080 HD performance, out of the box, is so bad I tossed my SJ8 Pro back in the box.

    The mods (or hacks) in the thread on goprawn fix the 1080 HD problems in a major way! At 36 Mb/s (woohoo!!), pixelation is 99.9% gone, artifacts have minimal impact on image quality. Compared with my Sony FDR-X3000, the overall imagery is better; the X3000 uses only 25 Mb/s and I can find occasional pixelation problems in the footage. Why SJCam decided to "dumb down" 1080 HD bitrate escapes me. Why make what's supposed to be the top end camera work so poorly as to be nearly unusable for anything but 4K???

    The mods do what the goprawn thread describes. This is not an attempt to overhaul the SJ8 Pro firmware. It addresses specific issues and nothing more. Flashing the f/w works exactly the way any official update works. But... you assume 100% responsibility for using the mods. It is possible that a latter release could brick your camera. If so, you have a pretty paper weight and nothing more. Once bricked, the camera might as well have gone out with the trash - it's not coming back. Ever.

    I've put together a demo video, which I'll put up on YouTube shortly. I'll leave a link here.
     
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  13. Manolis

    Manolis New Member

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    Couldn't agree more on that. You describe the situation in the best way!
    To tell you the truth I haven't used yet this custom firmware with the hope that SJ guys will look into the code that goprawn has developed in order to find an easy fix for the 1080p and include it in the next firmware.
    More on that I have already bought an 64GB Kingston canvas react microSD card (about 15euros) and with the official firmware and I don't have any lagging or problem at all, even at 4k60fps fine resolution.
    This card can reach 80MB/s write speed.
    A concern for me, in order not to use goprawn firmware, was that for capturing at 4k60fps the above card wouldn't be sufficient any more and I should move to more expensive solutions.
    In any case, since I mainly use the camera for mountain bike footage and the high fps, image stabilization is a mast, I can confirm that all videos have pixelation in high speeds when the scenery changes fast.
    Hope someone from the official SJ support can hear on this.
     
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  14. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    The big problem with the modded FW is, that you have to search for the high bitrate framerates. Because not for all framerates the bitrate is higher. I use 24fps and there the bitrate is the same. Also it is not clear for what codec they raised the bitrate, only for H.264 or also for H.265?

    I found that the bitrate in 1080p was only increased for 30fps and 60fps but I don't use them. All I want is a high bitrate (40MBit/s in H.264 and 20Mbit/s in H.265) in 1080p and 24fps.
     
  15. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    I shoot 1080 HD at 60 FPS because:
    • I can shoot all day into a 128 Gb SD without filling it. Day = 8-9 hours - my biggest worry is battery packs running out of juice
    • 1080 HD is a good compromise between 4K appearance and practical requirements
    • 60 FPS avoids smearing. Smearing may be good or bad based on choice of aesthetics
    • 60 FPS allows tighter editing
    • Many issues with 1080 HD at 60 FPS can be fixed in post-production
    Obviously, not everyone will see things this way. It's easier to throw away unwanted elements - editing, transcoding to other frame rates, etc. I use Blackmagic Design's Resolve editor. The basic version is free. It doesn't have some features the $300 pro version has, but what's there is more than enough for many (most?) people.

    Here's the YT link (use 4K - 1080 is nearly trash):


    I want to post frame grabs from the original and YT versions of the same footage. Unfortunately, they're too big to upload.

    Here's a comparison of Sony's 25 Mb/s and the original SJ8 18 Mb/s. It's hardly a milestone in video work, but I think the point is made. 18 Mb/s sux.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  16. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Added: of course YT, even in 4K mode compresses video to death. I transcoded to 4K to at least minimize the damage. When I look at the footage with Resolve, I'm honestly impressed.

    - - - -

    Will SJCam ever take product action based on these hacks and the results? Only [insert preferred Diety here] knows, but isn't telling. I've learned "accept what's there or don't accept it; not much else is going to happen".
     
  17. Michael Dittrich

    Michael Dittrich Member

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  18. Stani John

    Stani John New Member

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    The low bitrate issue in 1080P 60 FPS is resolved in latest V1.3.1 update and also Mod 4.2 firmware update. Check out my below video where I did an extensive comparison.

     
  19. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    You're right, 1.3.1 boosts 1080 video to 35+ Mb/s. My error on getting that wrong. IMHO 36 Mb/s is still too slow. 40-50 Mb/s will give a distinct improvement.
     
  20. abangeky

    abangeky New Member

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    oh man,

    i have same issue with my recording. lower bitrate on 1080 60 FPS




    if i use mod firmware MOD4.1, can i go back orinal firmware (1.3.0) ?
     

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